Imagine the day when all the data in your company will be seamlessly connected. You can sit back and relax, right?
Wrong. That day is coming, soon, and this technological step-change means HR will have a new challenge to take up: changing the behaviours and culture that such change brings with it. From employee buy-in to skillsets to cultural values, HR’s job is just getting started.
According to McKinsey, the time European workers spend using advanced technological skills will increase 41% by 2030. And this is just an average, meaning some will be affected even more. One thing that’s certain is that the way we work now will change, and this will impact company culture.
Evolving effectively, with minimal friction from your people, means preparing them for this change. Your business needs every employee to pull in the same direction , as our latest research explores. And the very first step on this road is clear communication.
Communicate up front
You know that new, connected technologies can help your people to work more efficiently, productively, and happily. But that may not be how they see it. They may worry that more technology means the company has taken a step towards automating their role. Or that greater connectivity is to keep a closer eye on them and their performance. Your organisation is adapting, so your employees will need to adapt too. Getting their buy-in up front could be the difference between them a) taking your hand and walking with you towards a connected future, and b) fighting you every step of the way.
HR should stride forward to communicate that your company will become hyper-connected as soon as the decision has been made. Explain why this change is important to the company, and make sure you’re clear on what’s expected of staff to support the new, hyper-connected culture. Set out what will change for them, as well as the benefits they – individually – can experience if the company can make this evolution a success.
Skills, mindsets, culture
Greater connectivity and new tools require new skills in order to make the most of them. This could mean recruiting additional people, but it will undoubtedly mean training existing employees to help them take full advantage of their connected tools, systems and processes. Ultimately, you’ll be helping them to embrace a new way of working.
In fact, by 2022, the World Economic Forum expects that more than half (54%) of all workers will require significant re- or up-skilling.
But clear direction and up-skilling are only two sides of a business change tripod. A more connected workplace also needs something far trickier to achieve: new mindsets. Staff will adapt how they work, individually and together. HR leaders will work with heads of department to show the way and prepare teams. But truly accepting and embracing new business models will require a mindset shift, and this can’t be forced.
The best chance lies in nurturing a culture that embraces change and the possibilities it brings. And that will need the HR team’s careful stewardship for years to come.
Come and visit us at an event close to you to know how HR can power these changes.